“The new headquarters for the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) represents the coming together of an innovative environmental strategy and a diverse programme as a distinctive landmark that stands out on the Kuwaiti skyline,” said Foster + Partners head of studio Stefan Behling.
“The building incorporates a sustainable, functional, and iconic design that signifies NBK’s unique presence and identity in the city.”
The National Bank of Kuwait Headquarters becomes the second tallest building in the country and is officially a supertall skyscraper – defined as being over 300 metres tall.
It stands alongside the country’s tallest building, the 412-metre-high Al Hamra Tower which was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), in the city’s Sharq financial district.
The skyscraper is wrapped in a series of concrete fins that extend the full height of the tower to provide solar shading for the sixty-three floors of office space.
The fins on the curved frame views of the Arabian Gulf, while a strip of glazing runs the full height of the skyscraper.
Designed to provide office space for all of the bank’s staff, the skyscraper has shield-shaped floor plates with open-plan offices on one side of the lift core and meeting rooms arranged along the curved facade.
Employees enter the skyscraper through an 18-metre-high lobby on the ground floor, while the office floors are broken by “sky lobbies”, a double-height restaurant on floor 18 and a gym on level 19.
A ballroom and auditorium is located on level 38, while a triple-height boardroom was placed on level 48.
The building is topped with the chairman’s club within the pointed peak of the structure, which is lit by a large curved skylight.
“The form we’ve developed for the tower is driven by the needs of the bank and the internal spatial arrangement is tailored to its organisational requirements, whilst providing flexibility for future change and growth,” said Foster + Partners senior partner Nikolai Malsch.
“We have created a customised working environment where everybody has their own unique space.”
Foster + Partners designed bespoke furniture and lighting for the skyscraper, including a “cloud-like cluster” of blown-glass lights and a 13-metre-long table in the board room.
The UK’s largest architecture studio Foster + Partners has designed skyscrapers in cities across the world.
It recently released plans for a skyscraper in Manila with wraparound verandas, an office tower in Manhattan for JPMorgan Chase and updated plans for Two World Trade Center in New York.
The photography is by Nigel Young.
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